By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Bluffton University football team traveled across Indiana to take on the Rose-Hulman Fighting Engineers in an intense HCAC battle on Saturday, Oct. 6. The teams would go back and forth but turnovers came back to haunt the visiting Beavers as they took a 23-14 loss on the road. Bluffton dipped to 1-5 overall and 1-3 in conference play while Rose-Hulman improved to 2-4 and 2-2 in the HCAC.
The Beavers would be the first to get on the board after Adam Duncan (Northwood/Lake) hauled in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Plummie Gardner (Lima/Perry) to take a 7-0 lead with 11:09 to go in the first quarter. After a Gardner interception, the Fighting Engineers would answer with a score of their own to start the second quarter to even up the score 7-7 thanks to a 2-yard trot by Garrett Wright. Rose-Hulman would take a 10-7 advantage into the half after Adam Clark hit a 35-yard field goal as time expired.
Bluffton started the third quarter with fury as a 13-yard scamper by Gardner found the end zone as the visitors took a 14-10 advantage. Garrett Wright scored his second touchdown of the day with 7:49 left in the quarter as the Engineers took a 16-14 lead following a missed extra point. The Beavers were unable to answer as the Fighting Engineers took an interception to the house for a 45-yard pick six and 23-14 spread with 2:27 left in regulation. Bluffton attempted to make a late-game come-back but the drive stalled following another interception that sealed the RHIT victory.
Gardner struggled under center, going 9-of-20 for 107 yards with a touchdown and five interceptions. Drake Campbell (Trenton/Edgewood) was a workhorse on the ground as the senior running back pounded out 115 yards on 24 carries. Gardner added 60 yards on 11 rushing attempts with a score. Leading the wide-receiver crew was DeAngelo Woods (Elida) who hauled in three catches for 30 yards while Adam Duncan tallied two catches for 28 yards and a touchdown. Bluffton was able to muster up 296 yards of total offense while holding the Fighting Engineers to just 258 on the afternoon.
The defense was led by senior Ollie Moorer (Warrensville Heights) who tallied seven solo tackles in the contest. Junior Dylan Shaffer (Shelby) and sophomore Antonio Crossty (Wooster) both added seven total tackles for Bluffton. Notching an interception was Doniven Clark (Toledo/Bowsher).
The Beavers will look to snap their three-game losing streak when they welcome Manchester University on Saturday, Oct. 13. Bluffton will honor their newly-minted Hall of Fame inductees as part of the 2018 Homecoming festivities next Saturday. Kickoff at Alumni Field is slated for 1:30 p.m. Come out and support your Beavers!